Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Proof, shmoof

By Michael J.W. Stickings

Yeah, so about that "proof" that Iran is supplying arms to Iraqi Shiites -- you know, the "proof" presented at the secret press conference the other day without much in the way of evidence. Libby wrote about it here, debunking it.

Well, the debunkers aren't alone. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Peter Pace hasn't seen much evidence either:

"We know that the explosively formed projectiles are manufactured in Iran," Pace told Voice of America during a visit to Australia. "What I would not say is that the Iranian government, per se, knows about this."

"It is clear that Iranians are involved, and it's clear that materials from Iran are involved," he continued, "but I would not say by what I know that the Iranian government clearly knows or is complicit."

Perhaps he doesn't know anything. Perhaps he didn't get the memo.

Or perhaps -- and this seems far more likely -- perhaps there really isn't any proof at all, just the same old warmongers trying to lie and spin their way into yet another war in the Middle East -- another disastrous war.

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Kevin Drum summed up what many of us are thinking: "Still, everyone is skeptical, and who can blame them? The current gang in the White House would have to provide videotape of the Ayatollah Khamenei himself attaching tailfins to one of these things and putting it in a box labeled 'Baghdad -- ASAP' before I'd be willing to take any action based on this latest dog and pony show."

I would add this: I'm skeptical and don't trust the source of this "proof," but such skepticism and distrust would be healthy and necessary even without the experience of Iraq. There are simply too many holes here.

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